Refugees, Migration, and Conflicts in South Asia

Rethinking Lives, Politics, and Policy

by Debasish Nandy (Author) Sajal Roy (Author)
©2022 Monographs XVIII, 200 Pages


Refugees, Migration, and Conflicts in South Asia: Rethinking Lives, Politics, and Policy is designed to make an interdisciplinary in-depth study of refugees, migration, conflicts, and development in the South Asian context. The region of South Asia is the most populous in the world, with preexisting problems of refugees, migration, conflicts, and violence. Since their formation, most of the South Asian states have been experiencing these problems. This book attempts to critically delineate the inflow and outflow of refugees and migrants. This book also critically addresses civil wars, ethnoreligious conflicts, and political violence in the South Asian region. By depicting the socioeconomic and security aspects of migration along with human security, this book has projected the vulnerability of this region.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Preface
  • Acknowledgements
  • Abbreviations
  • Glossary
  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Questioning Human Security of Refugees in South Asia: History of Politics and Policies
  • 3 Illegal Bangladeshi Migration in the State of West Bengal, India
  • 4 The Outflow of Female Migration from Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan
  • 5 Humanitarian Perspectives of Outward and Internal Migration in Afghanistan
  • 6 Conflicts, Violence, and Developments in South Asia
  • Bibliography
  • Index

←viii | ix→


The idea of this book has come from examining two burning issues in South Asia: refugees and migration. This book has been designed to make an interdisciplinary in-depth study of refugees, migration, conflicts, and development in the South Asian context. The region of South Asia is the most populous in the world, with pre-existing problems of refugees, migration, conflicts, and violence. Since their formation, most of the South Asian states have been experiencing these problems. Modern South Asia is the product of the partition of British India by colonial powers. The partition of India in 1947 has resulted in a huge refugee crisis in South Asia. The term ‘refugee’ refers to those people who are forced to leave their homeland and take shelter in other countries due to war, civil war, ethnoreligious conflicts, or oppressive acts of the state. Migration is generally defined as a permanent change in place of residence by the crossing of specified administrative or political boundaries. The book provides an interdisciplinary study on History, Political Science, Sociology, Gender Studies, Demographic Studies, Refugee and Migration Studies, Legal Studies, Economic Studies, and Peace Studies. The book aims to critically analyse a vast canvas of South Asian Refugees and Migration problems. The book will benefit people from all sectors, especially individuals involved in the refugee and migration sectors, and those undertaking development studies, policy studies, and social sciences in general. ←ix | x→It will not only contribute to the research and academic learning of both teachers and students but also aim to educate many on the impacts of refugees and migration when viewed from different perspectives.

It will further shed light on conflicts, violence, and developments in South Asian societies. The interconnectivity between conflicts, violence, and development in South Asian society has had a mixed effect. Much has been said and written about the South Asian refugee problem. This book attempts to portray how migration and refugee problems have impacted the politics and policy development of the region.

There are six specific objectives of the book: First, to present an interconnected conceptual and theoretical outline for a clear understanding of refugees, migration, and illegal migration in South Asia. Second, to offer a vast and critical analysis about the problems, human security, livelihoods, and legal issues of various refugee groups in South Asia. Third, to present a clear view about illegal Bangladeshi migrants in the state of West Bengal in India for a better understanding of socio-political and security issues. Fourth, we have placed special emphasis on women’s migration from some of these South Asian states. We present a wide spectrum of outward women’s migration of South Asia, and we analyse the issue of women’s migration through the prisms of economic empowerment, dignity, and human security. Fifth, to investigate the reasons for outward migration in a war-torn and ethnic conflicts-prone economically vulnerable country. Final, we relate the reasons for refugee flow and migration to ethnic conflicts and violence. This book critically addresses the major conflicts in South Asia and will look for a link between violence and development. The fundamental argument of this book is that state policies are mostly responsible for refugee problems and migration problems, violence, and conflicts that result in uneven or lopsided development and poverty.

Apart from the above-stated objectives, this book provides a comparative study of policy implementations of South Asian countries in pursuance of refugee problems. In the South Asian context, it is very difficult to distinguish between refugees and migrants. In this study, we have also made efforts to delineate illegal migration from refugee problems. We have tried to reach as many migrant respondents as we can to interview them and understand the challenges they face as a refugee or migrant.

The book will benefit people from all sections as it works with socio-economic, political, legal, and security aspects. Three major elements will be researched in-depth: human security, empowerment, and development. This book delineates the bias-outlooks of the state authorities. The changing contours of refugee ←x | xi→and illegal migration problems have now been internationalized, so this book highlights the international economic and legal impact of outward migration in South Asia. South Asia has a rich history of both inward and outward migration. This is mostly due to unequal economic growth, lower per capita income, social instability, fear of majority domination, demographic transformation, civil conflicts, and persecution. These refugees are mostly seen as victims of conflicts or as destabilizing forces. Among the South Asian nations, there lies an underlying dichotomy in state approaches in treating these refugees as terrorists or humans. This book offers an insightful study of various aspects of refugees and migration across South Asia. For other South Asian nations, the issue becomes direr and desperate. Coupled with economic underdevelopment and political instability, the refugee crisis has emerged as a major challenge. The lack of any uniform regional migration policy has further complicated the situation. There is also the issue of human security and ensuring humane treatment of these migrants.

Debasish Nandy & Sajal Roy

←xii | xiii→


This book is the outcome of empirical research conducted in South Asian countries. We have been researching for this book since 2015. During our studies, we have visited many libraries, universities, and research institutes to source literature and data. We have interacted with a vast network of people: respondents, researchers, journalists, academicians, military personnel, police officers, administrators, and politicians to understand the dynamic of refugees and migration of South Asia. We have visited several countries and interacted with many people who shared their opinions and experiences. The authors are immensely grateful to all of them. Within this short space, it is impossible to mention the name of all individuals and institutions.

First, we are thankful to the Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi for financial assistance in initiating the first part of this study. We are thankful to Professor Sanjay Kumar Bhardwaj, School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, India for his continuous guidance.

We are thankful to our colleagues and family members for their continuous support and encouragement. We are thankful to Professor Pranab Kumar Pandey, Department of Public Administration, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh. We are thankful to Professor Sayed Sikander Mehdi, University of Karachi, Pakistan ←xiii | xiv→for his valuable comments and suggestions. The authors are thankful to Professor Ganga Thapa, Tribhuban University, Nepal for sharing his observations on women’s migration in Nepal.

The authors are immensely grateful to Alik Naha, Vidyasagar College, Kolkata, Joyprakash Mondal, PhD Research Scholar, Kazi Nazrul University, West Bengal, India, and Rahul Thanadar, Bashirhat College, West Bengal, India for their input. During our study, we interacted with many dignitaries and migrants to collect data and obtain interpretation and understanding. It is a very difficult task to collect data on migration and refugees. Some people helped us to collect the relevant facts. Most of them did not agree to disclose their names. The authors are thankful to all of them. We are thankful to our family members for their continuous support and encouragement.

The authors are thankful to the authority of Peter Lang International Academic Publishers for giving us the opportunity to publish our manuscript. We are especially thankful to Suma George and Na Li for their sincere cooperation and coordination. We are grateful to other dignitaries of Peter Lang for their assistance.

Debasish Nandy & Sajal Roy

←xiv | xv→



All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union


Afghan National Security Forces


Bharat-Bangladesh Enclave Exchange Coordination Committee


Bureau of Emigration and Overseas Employment


Border Security Force


Citizenship Amendment Act


Coordinated Border Management Plan


Committee for Citizenship Rights of the Chakmas of Arunachal Pradesh


Chittagong Hill Tracts


Foreign Direct Investment


Global Migration Group


High Dependency Unit


Intensive Care Unit


XVIII, 200
ISBN (Hardcover)
Publication date
2022 (July)
Refugees, Migration, and Conflicts in South Asia: Rethinking Lives, Politics, and Policy Sajal Roy Debasish Nandy violence development human security economy terrorism policy politics lives conflicts migration refugees
New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2022. XVIII, 200 pp.

Biographical notes

Debasish Nandy (Author) Sajal Roy (Author)

Debasish Nandy, Ph.D. is Associate Professor and Head in the Department of Political Science, Kazi Nazrul University, Asansol, West Bengal, India. Dr. Nandy is the Coordinator of the Centre for Studies of South and Southeast Asian Societies at the same university. He is the visiting faculty in the Department of Foreign Area Studies at the National University of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Sajal Roy, Ph.D. is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact, University of New South Wales Business School. Before joint at the CSI, he held a Postdoctoral Research Fellow position at the Centre for Livelihoods and Wellbeing, UTS Business School, University of Technology Sydney. As a scholar in critical development studies, Sajal's areas of expertise are financial wellbeing, financial service, gendered relations, refugee crisis management, resilience and disaster risk governance.


Title: Refugees, Migration, and Conflicts in South Asia
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220 pages